Itsekiri Communities Clash Over Kuri Field As Abigborodo, Others Protest


Briga News Nigeria

Abigborodo and Ubagboro communities in Warri North Local Government Area erupted in protest yesterday, accusing Makaraba and Omadino in Warri South Local Government Area of the state of attempting to steal their land.

The Kuri Field, currently operated by SHN Energy Limited, became the flashpoint as hundreds of women and youths stormed the platform in boats, demanding recognition as the rightful owners.

“This is our land!” Hon. Barr Misan Ukubehinje, Chairman of Abigborodo community said, his voice echoing across. “Makaraba, with backing from powerful figures, wants to forcefully take it away. We won’t allow it!”

Ukubehinje, joined by Mr. Austin Ogbemi, Chairman of Ubagboro community, condemned the “imposters and other groups” attempting to claim their birthright. They vowed to resist any operations on the field until a transparent dialogue involving all stakeholders and government intervention was achieved.

They accused the oil and gas committee set-up by the government of being political

“The oil and gas committee’s decisions stink of politics and fear,” fumed Ukubehinje, brandishing a placard that read “Don’t Deprive Us of Our Rights!” “We demand an investigation. We have ways to protect our interests, even if it means facing military might.”

Ogbemi, equally passionate, emphasized the geographical clarity. “Kuri field is in Warri North, belonging to Ubagboro and Abigborodo. Makaraba and Omadino have no claim here, they are in Warri South!” he declared, urging authorities to respect their rightful ownership.

The protestors, their voices rising in unison, chanted slogans like “Kuri Field Belongs to Us!” and “SHN Out, Now!” Their placards spoke volumes of their anger and frustration.

SHN Energy Limited, caught in the crossfire, attempted to appease the crowd. Mr. Augustine Okwazu, their representative, who also spoke promised to convey their demands to the management. However, his words did little to douse the flames of discontent.

This simmering conflict has its roots in a deeper issue. Abigborodo community, in an open letter to Governor Oborevwori, accused the Oil & Gas Commissioner, Surveyor General, and SHN Energy of “illegal and oppressive actions.” They claim the disputed land falls within their customary rights and that the award of the field to previous operators affirmed their ownership.

Source: Itsekiri Gist


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